WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Kathy Kelly’s daughter Lila was one of many kids that jumped into the pool for Coastal Buds’ iCan Swim camp in Wilmington on Monday.
“Lila is eight years old and she has Down syndrome, and this has been a great opportunity,” said Kelly. “Her physical therapist told me about it and I went on immediately and signed her up. I think I got one of the last few spots.”
Parents are happy to see their children learning with their peers – a factor organizers say is important.
“We love to be able to get them together to do programs like this and it just increases their self-confidence and self-esteem,” said Lisa Ruby, who is on the board of directors for Coastal Buds.
Volunteers assist each camper with new swim skills and help reach their individual aquatic goals, but the volunteers get something out of it as well.
“It had a huge impact on me and the other volunteers we had here,” said volunteer Hannah Presley. “Just seeing them getting to do something they don’t get to do every day.”
Parents are hopeful their children can learn valuable life-saving lessons when in the water and build on them at home.
“We have a pool in our neighborhood so I would love to be able to carry out some of the things that she is doing here and continue that, so she is more comfortable with me and her sisters when she’s in the pool in our neighborhood,” said Kelly.
The week-long camp features multiple sessions a day, categorized by age groups.
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